Took a tour of Bellen this morning. For some reason I felt compelled to go with a local guy who started talking with me on the street…i know… potentially dumb thing to do! But I got the yes and went for it. And Lito was a super nice ans knowledgeable guide.
It was quite eye opening and illuminating. Helped me get clearer on the inner work I’ll be doing in the jungle starting tomorrow.
He first took me through the Bellen market. Its amazing. And challenging to the sensibilities of a vegan westerner. Tables of chicken and pork, fish and alligators and turtles… oh yeah squirming grubs they scewer and grill up for you right there. It was another opportunity to embrace to goodness of all and let go of the subtle and not so subtle judgments I carry.
They also had every kind of tropical fruit you can imagine… And then some.
There’s a whole section devoted to natural medicines from the jungle including medicine for physical and spiritual healing. It was mesmerizing watching the vendors working with roots and bark and leaves as we walked through.
From the market in upper Bellen we walked down to lower Bellen. In the rainy season the streets and lower floors of the building are underwater so all the residents get around by water taxi.
We took a water taxi on a tour of the floating houses. Another opportunity to breathe into the all goodness. And a reminder of just how blessed we are. Imagine living in a shack with a leaking roof on the Amazon in the rainy season.
And there were floating outhouses… meaning the plumbing is the river!
And yet… in spite of the judgment that wanted to cloud my vision most of the people seemed content. The children were happy and smiling. The vendors in the market were friendly and focused. I had a beautiful exchange with one woman vendor I “caught” trying on a hat for her friend. She struck a pose just as I caught her eye. We laughed together and I told her it looked beautiful.
There is goodness everywhere.